Davis Polk

www.davispolk.com
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The best place to be a legal assistant in NYC (take that as you will)

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - Legal Assistant in New York, NY
Former Employee - Legal Assistant in New York, NY

I worked at Davis Polk full-time (more than a year)

Pros

-Access to some very high profile cases, most of which you'll read about in the news. The firm counts some of the largest, most powerful companies in the world as its clients. This is a harsh economy for most firms. Not this one. Davis Polk has been around forever and will continue to thrive due to its longstanding corporate relationships.
-Access to top-notch lawyers. Granted, your face-time with partners will be very limited, but the associates here are cream of the crop. Really valuable for networking/law school recommendations/general advice.
-Excellent firm culture. No yelling. Some reviewers who are attorneys may complain about how the firm seems "passive aggressive" in that people are very nice but will stab you in the back. I haven't witnessed that firsthand but as a legal assistant you are probably not important enough to have that happen to you. One of the upsides of being low on the food chain is that nobody has any reason to be anything but nice to you.
-Collegiality: really feels like a team. Managers genuinely care about your workload and will generally stick up for you when you get unreasonable requests.
-Name recognition: Davis Polk turns heads in the world of law. Sounds superficial but in the legal world, these things matter on your resume.
-Perks are well above average for law firms: great cafeteria, dinner & car service home on late nights, beautiful building, law school admissions panels for legal assistants, etc.

All said, this is a good place to work immediately after college. Just don't get stuck for more than 3 years because there are no opportunities for upward mobility without a JD, and salary increases are not significant. I don't know of any other firms of similar type and caliber that have more satisfied legal assistants. Just have realistic expectations when applying--it's a good 'stepping stone' job if you are at least considering law school--and this job will be a great experience.

Cons

-Salary. $40k base is tough to live off of in NYC. Overtime helps but you'll have to work hard to see any real savings. No significant bonuses.
-Work is often unfulfilling and monotonous. This is NOT specific to Davis Polk, but rather a trait of this position across Biglaw.
-You have to carry around, and check, a Blackberry. You'll get used to it, but you won't stop hating the constant buzzing of incoming emails.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

-Regular work schedule should be 40 hours/week instead of 35 to help with the salary issue. We don't need to get off at 5:30--we're young and could use the extra $.

Recommends
Positive Outlook
No opinion of CEO

46 Other Employee Reviews for Davis Polk (View Most Recent)

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  1.  

    It was a great experience!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Associate in New York, NY

    I have been working at Davis Polk full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Highly professional and brilliant lawyers across the board. Don't think you'll find any other law firm with a deeper bench and that will give associates as much responsibility so early in their careers.

    Cons

    The hours can be long and communication about partnership prospects can be opaque.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Best in BigLaw

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Davis Polk

    Pros

    Meritocracy, great experience on important cases, respectful workplace, very few "screamers" or otherwise inappropriate people. If you want to work in BigLaw, Davis Polk is the place.

    Cons

    Passive-Aggressive Culture. People will smile in your face and then rip you to shreds. Otherwise the same cons that apply to BigLaw generally apply to Davis Polk--long hours, etc.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be more transparent with employees about their performance and prospects at the firm.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
There are newer employer reviews for Davis Polk

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